The job market is saturated. Competition is high. Give yourself the competitive edge by following these 5 easy steps to build a resume to get your resume noticed
1. Get in Order
Recruiters review hundreds of resumes and will breeze right past yours if key information is not easily accessible. Create a chronological, clean and well-organized resume.
a. Start with your most recent experience and move backwards. If you have extensive years of experience, don’t go back further than 15-20 years. Going back further puts you in danger of age discrimination.
b. Don’t list experience that no longer feels relevant because of the time that has past since the experience. The world changes quickly. How you would have done a job 25 years ago is most likely not how it would be done today.
c. Spend the bulk of your time focusing on your most recent history, which is the experience recruiters and hiring managers want.
2. Be concise.
The hardest part of writing a resume is fitting years of great experience into a bullet point. Is it tough? Yep. Is it necessary? Yep! You have about 5 seconds to capture a recruiter’s attention. Be as concise and clear as possible.
Think high level. How would you describe each job to someone at a dinner party if you had 30 seconds? What would you highlight? Think statistics and numbers. If you managed an office, how many people did you manage? Did you increase office productivity? By how much? Be concise. The interview is the time to expand, not on your resume.
The rule of the one-page resume is gone, if you need to go to page two, no problem. But think first, is your resume filled with ‘fillers’? If so, scale back.
This step should be taken in-hand with Step #2. Many career-seekers take the approach of more is more; the more careers you apply for, the better your odds. So, you create one solid resume and start rapid-fire and apply to for different positions using the same resume. Mistake!
Customizing your resume adds time, but it will pay off in spades. Recruiters decline resumes immediately that they can tell are “canned.” Recruiters want someone that wants THEIR job, it’s nice to be wanted!
Customizing is easy, the job posting (position description/job duties) give you all the information you need. Go down the list of job duties and match up each of these skills to your own. Highlight your experience in each area on your resume, and of course, be concise. If you have additional experience on your resume that does not relate to what you are reading on the job description, more than likely, it’s not necessary. It will crowd out the strong, relevant experience the recruiter needs to see.
4. Job boards.
There are a million job boards online and it can be downright overwhelming. Instead of going to each job board to search for careers, maximize your effort by going to a job search engine that ‘mines’ posted jobs from all of the major job boards at once, try www.Indeed.com.
What would have taken hours to go to each individual site now is at your finger tips in seconds! With all that saved time, you have more time to customize your resume!
5. Work your network.
You’ve heard it said one thousand times before, but it’s all about who you know. With all of the social media sites out there, networking has never been easier through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. When you are in the market for a new career opportunity, don’t be shy (unless of course you currently have a career that you don’t want to lose in the pursuit of something new, then be discreet), let people know your in the market; you’ll be amazed at who knows who and who’s company is hiring.
Don’t forget the power of the ‘personal touch’, get involved in relevant networking organizations. Yes, it’s a time commitment, but well worth it. [Get tips to network like a PRO, HERE]
HAPPY CAREER HUNTING!
-Stephanie Goetsch, August 2010